I see that with induced hot air heating it is advised to keep (bedroom) doors open, but I am wondering if the same advice applies for heating with wall mounted radiators.

I have a two bedroom apartment on two levels. Should I keep the upstairs bedroom doors closed or not? Does the decision depend on the structure of the house or is there a general rule that applies to homes heated with radiators? I see a lot of conflicting opinions on the matter.

  • Can you include links to the advice to keep doors open for forced air heat, as well as links to the conflicting opinions when using radiators?
    – mmathis
    Nov 15, 2016 at 18:59

3 Answers 3


It depends on how the radiators are controlled. Does your apartment have baseboard electric radiators with independent temperature controls in each bedroom, or do you have a central boiler (steam radiator) or furnace (forced hot air) that is controlled by one thermostat somewhere towards the center of the house?

If you have individual controls, you'll want to keep your bedroom door closed so that the temperature in that space is better regulated per the setting for that room. If you have one central thermostat, you'll want to keep bedroom doors open so that the entire living space is at an equal temperature.

You can close off doors - and the radiators within - rooms that are not used (guest rooms, e.g.) so that you are not heating those spaces. With central heating, you'll likely find that some rooms/radiators run hotter than others due to distances from the central heating source, poorly placed radiators in some rooms (e.g. under a drafty window) or the location of the central thermostat. You can adjust the flow to each radiator at the source to tune the heat going to each room.

  • radiatros SHOULD be under windows to defeat cold air currents that otherweise will create disconfort creating a "air wall" effect preventing more cold air from mixing with warm air in the room. Differences in temerature radiators are caused by unbalanced systems, in this ase is enough to add self-adjusting valves (or manuallty regualte the "outflow valve") to keep the more even. About unused rooms, I agree, keeping doors and radiator shuts helps lowering gas bill.
    – DDS
    Jun 21, 2018 at 16:01

If all rooms are meant to be the same temperature it doesn't matter. But if you've got a spare room that you're not using, you may want to turn the radiator down or even off. In that case you should shut the door to that room.

With two levels it's possible for hot air to rise and get the bedrooms too warm, especially if there's a vent to allow the air to leave (e.g. an extractor in an en-suite bathroom). In that case you may again want to close the door, or turn a radiator down (the hall one in my house).


It warm up little faster if you keep doors closed (convection is little increased), anyway if your corridor is about same temp. (+/-2°C) as bedrooms are there's no difference.

It makes difference if there's a moderate air current from the door, this will decrease convection and increase heat-up times.

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